In honor of Bloody Sunday I wrote today in my just-about-finished historical novel about the black man's right to vote.
I had not known when I began my research for this book that the struggle began as early as the time period that I am writing of (1780 to 1850). All of the characters in my book were real people. Every single one of them. Without question the most remarkable life story I have put together is that of William Costin. He is mentioned in an old excerpt below, one of the few historical accounts of this man's so very noteworthy life, in The Freedmen's Book, an abolitionist work originally published in 1865. (That is a worthy read and is available free on kindle.)
Today, I worked the quote by John Quincy Adams into my novel, that it might be remembered.
You will learn all about Costin's contributions to our country in my book. Here is his image, commissioned by The Bank of Washington upon his death, further evidence of his accomplishments.
Page 220 from THE FREEDMEN'S BOOK, by Lydia Maria Francis Child:
MR. WILLIAM COSTIN was for twenty-four
years porter of a bank in Washington, D. C.
Many millions of dollars passed through his hands, but not
a cent was ever missing, through fraud or carelessness. In
his daily life he set an example of purity and benevolence.
He adopted four orphan children into his family, and
treated them with the kindness of a father. His character
inspired general respect; and when he died, in 1842, the
newspapers of the city made honorable mention of him.
The directors of the bank passed a resolution expressive
of their high appreciation of his services, and his coffin
was followed to the grave by a very large procession of
citizens of all classes and complexions. Not long after,
when the Honorable John Quincy Adams was speaking
in Congress on the subject of voting, he said : " The
late William Costin, though he was not white, was as
much respected as any man in the District ; and the largo
concourse of citizens that attended his remains to the
grave as well white as black was an evidence of the
manner in which he was estimated by the citizens of
Washington. Now, why should such a man as that be
excluded from the elective franchise, when you admit the
vilest individuals of the white race to exercise it ? "